NDC launches ‘corruption tracker series’

In an election year, the tag of which party is corrupt is up for grabs and the main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) says it is their governing rival, the New Patriotic Party (NPP).

And so the NDC has announced it would use the next couple of months to a crucial election to prove, the NPP leader, President Akufo-Addo has a corruption “medal” “hanging on his neck.”

NDC National Communications Director Sammy Gyamfi said this at a press conference Monday, a feature expected to grow more regular for political parties in Ghana.

Mr. Gyamfi said the NDC would share its conclusion that the NPP government has “at all times failed to protect the public purse.”

There are several scandals to support this position, he said and declared the party would be doing a “total recall.”

He pardoned the media and civil society for “keeping quiet” over the scandals and explained away the silence to mean these groups are simply overwhelmed by the litany of scandals.

The NDC, he said, would help to bring back these scandals to the fore of political discussions as the voter readies to exercise electoral choices that come once every four years.

He kicked off the series by pointing to the BOST scandal, barely nine months into the new NPP administration.

 

The BOST saga

In 2017, Bulk Oil Storage and Transportation (BOST) Limited then managed by Alfred Obeng was accused of causing GH¢7m financial loss to the state after it sold off five million litres of contaminated fuel to Movenpina, an unlicensed company.

The mixture of diesel and petrol was sold to various buyers between September 2017 and August 2018.

The blended products are used by the steel, garment, petrochemical companies to run their machinery. It can also be used as a mixture for asphalt and turpentine to prevent decay of wood.

Amid speculations of underhand dealings, the story died with after the BNI and NPA cleared top officials at BOST of any wrongdoing.

The Minority rejected the conclusion announced by the minister and said the findings cannot be accurate.

Pressure group, OccupyGhana, also rejected the report saying it “prematurely absolved several key players of wrongdoing in the matter.”

“That report was quite deficient in several, material ways and left so many questions unanswered that it was difficult to agree with several of its opinions and conclusions.”

OccupyGhana raised 19 questions and demanded answers from the government.

The sale of contaminated fuel at a discounted price happened again. This time in September 2017.

The Chamber of Petroleum Consumers (COPEC) led by its CEO, Duncan Amoah, petitioned the  Office of Special Prosecutor, Martin Amidu, calling for prosecutions of BOST officials for causing financial loss to the state.

According to Duncan Amoah, Ghana lost in excess of Ȼ30million in revenue when BOST decided to sell 1.8 million barrels of crude oil to BB Energy, an unlicensed company.

This time Alfred Obeng was removed and a report into this sale described the involvement of the former BOST managers in the saga criminal.

But the Special Prosecutor is yet to furnish the public with the state of investigations, several years after the petition.

IMANI Africa has expressed disappointment in the Office of the Special Prosecutor for the slow pace of investigations.

Sammy Gyamfi said the BOST saga represented “countless cases of corruption” which has been “conveniently” swept under the carpet.

He labelled the president the “leader and chief patron of a notoriously corrupt administration.”

The NDC National Communications Officer accused the president of using “flowery speeches” to cover his administrations complicity in the fight against corruption.

 

‘This dog cannot be hanged’ – Akufo-Addo

The president has regularly rejected claims of corruption within his government and insisted all allegations have been investigated.

The most recent rejection of these claims was in September 2019 at the Bar conference where he rejected the tag that he is a clearing agent of his appointees accused of corruption.

“It is not my job to clear or convict any person accused of wrongdoing, or of engaging in acts of corruption. My job is to act on allegations of corruption by referring the issue or issues to the proper investigative agencies for the relevant inquiry and necessary action. That is exactly what has been done since I assumed the mantle of leadership on 7th January 2017.”

“If an appointee is cleared of any wrongdoing, the evidence adduced and recommendations made by these agencies, after the investigations are concluded, are what clear the accused persons, not myself. None of these agencies has ever indicated any pressure from the Executive over the investigations” he said.

The President said in August 2018 that his opponents are desperate to tarnish me as corrupt.

I am aware that you give a dog a bad name in order to hang it, but this dog will not be hanged”, the president said to his critics.

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